What can we learn from Demetrios Chomatenos about the society of Veroia in the early 13th century? How did two Palaiologan icons from Veroia end up in private collections outside Greece, and how did it come about that one of them was eventually returned to the country? What was the precise location of the monastery of Kremeni? What is the significance of the bema doors, dated 1527/8, today exhibited in the Florina Archaeological Museum?
It is historical and archaeological questions such as these – relating to medieval Macedonia – that Thanassis Papazotos endeavors to answer in this collection of studies that were found among his papers, under the title Macedonian Notes. In the preface, he states that: “The Notes are short studies that, I hope, add to our understanding of various historical and archeological themes relating to the monuments of Macedonia. The identification of places or churches that were hitherto unknown to the academic community, together with remarks on these places, as well as the reassessment of details relating to other monuments or sites that were already on the historians’ map, constitute the matter offered here for discussion.”
This book is the product of the author’s lifetime study of, and passion for, the Byzantine and post-Byzantine past of Macedonia. The forty-six unpublished articles contained in these pages were written during the last phase of his long illness, and reveal not only his deep knowledge of the region but also his unflagging spirit of enquiry and fastidiousness in casting light on archaeological, historical, prosopographical, topographical, iconographical, and artistic themes, as well as reexamining certain interpretative assumptions regarding Macedonia.
The breadth and depth of the author’s knowledge of the history and monuments of Macedonia, his aesthetic understanding of its styles and art, and his formulation of working hypotheses grounded in the available evidence and critical assessment of local traditions combine to create the dual contribution of this work: on the one hand, it covers gaps in the current state of research; on the other, it comprises an eloquent historiographical testimony to the achievements of a charismatic scholar, who in the space of the final quarter of the twentieth century bequeathed a rich legacy to scholarship in the field.
The scientific editing for the volume was carried out by Vangelis Maladakis, while supervision of the material and publication was carried out by Ioli Vingopoulou.